By Steev Riccardo
The Bartlett Indians overcame some sloppy play and a pesky North Brookfield team to advance to the Small School Division of the Clark Tournament semi-finals with a 62-48 victory on Sunday night (Feb. 19)
The win assured the Indians of a rematch with the #1 seed Quaboag Cougars, who won their opening match-up over West Boylston on Sunday. It will be the third time that the two teams meet when they take the court on Tuesday night (Feb. 21). The Cougars won the first two hard fought games over the Indians, but the teams are still very closely matched.
The Indians used a full court press to stymie North Brookfield and they also connected on some three-point shots early, jumping to an 18-14 lead. Sophomore Evan Anderson and juniors Akeem Belnavis and Matt Huberdault all hit from long range.
Despite forcing 18 first half turnovers and holding a 35-27 half time lead, the Indians squandered lots of opportunities and let North Brookfield stay in the game.
The second half was very sloppily played but the Indians did what they had to do and secured the win, but looking forward they will need to play much better, especially against a strong Quaboag team.
North Brookfield had 30 turnovers, but the Indians weren’t much better, turning the ball over 22 times in a game both teams probably want to forget.
Indians head coach Tony Paranto was grateful for the win but not completely happy with the way his team played. “The problem was that when they turned the ball over we were not converting. That is the biggest thing with our defense and our philosophy, we want to create turnovers and we want to create some tempo but we have to do something after we do it, and tonight we did not do a good job of converting their turnovers into points.
“The shots weren’t falling tonight and we need to do a better job of taking the ball to the hole,” said Paranto. “You come to the post season, you have to come to play. We survived tonight which is great, we did enough to win.”
Indian co-captain Kobel, who finished with 11 points and 6 assists, echoed the words of his coach. “We didn’t capitalize on their turnovers. We have to capitalize better. We knew they were big and strong, we wanted to run and make their bigs tired, but they did a fantastic job on the boards.”
Huberdault, who scored 11 points and hit some big three-pointers was also not completely thrilled despite winning. ““We have to play better, we were sloppy out there. We didn’t come to play today, we need to improve a lot.”
Belnavis led the Indians with 14 points and Alex Givens-Perry also played well with 11 points and 7 rebounds.
Kobel simplified the upcoming Indians-Cougars match-up, “We know what they are about and they know what we are about.”
Check the results here.
- Monday, 20 February 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Sports